featuring Why Bonnie
December 1, 2018 at the Sinclair
Snail Mail, the Baltimore based solo-project of nineteen-year-old Lindsey Jordan, played two sold-out shows back-to-back on the chilly first of December. The audience was comprised of predominantly students around Jordan’s age, with a mix of indie rock appreciating adults. I also noticed, when looking around at the crowd, a surprising amount of holiday sweaters. Why Bonnie, an Austin based band led by singer and guitarist Blair Howerton, opened for Snail Mail. Why Bonnie has a dynamic sound with smooth synthesizer components, visceral guitar and bass, and Howerton’s warm, ethereal voice. All of this combined for a fantastic start to the evening.
Snail Mail last played the Sinclair in July, in support of her debut album Lush, released June 8th. In the mere four and a half months since, she has continued on the whirlwind of a tour that’s taken her all over the world. I was at that show, after listening to her music for what felt like ages, but she suffered from a migraine and sore throat that evening which made her voice even more strained than usual. I was glad to see that she had recovered and was in better health at this show.
Snail Mail began her set with an energetic jam session that re-energized the crowd after the intermission. So when the band jumped into playing ‘Heat Wave,’ a song off the new album, the audience was already moving and nodding along. The song felt much more fitting during the summer months, as it felt anything but a heat wave in the cold Cambridge air. However, the topic of heartbreak is quite universal and not necessarily seasonally dependent.
Their set included a solid mix of tunes from their 2016 EP Habit and their new record. But I was disappointed they did not play ‘Static Buzz,’ since it’s one of my personal favorites. Jordan played most of the fan-favorites, including ‘Thinning,’ ‘Deep Sea,’ and ‘Pristine’; however, they were not able to play everything the fans wanted to hear because the set was shorter than usual to accommodate two shows.
The show was important for me personally, as it felt like things had come full circle. At Snail Mail’s show in July, I mentioned to my friend that I wanted to write about concerts or do photography for one of Northeastern’s music organizations (the primary motivator was to get into shows for free, though the practical experience has been a nice bonus). Now there I was, writing and photographing, standing in the same spot in the second row of what has become my favorite Boston-area venue, watching Snail Mail for the second time. Jordan and I are similar not only in age but also in personal aesthetic, thus seeing her live and hearing the vulnerability in her lyrics was, yet again, an empowering experience.
Photos by Kailey Williams